A South African garden signed with initials and dated 'F.B. 91' (lower right) oil on panel 43 x 31cm (16 15/16 x 12 3/16in).
PROVENANCE: Ex collection Sir James Roberts LL.D Thence by descent to the present owner
Frank Brangwyn and his fellow artist William Hunt travelled round the Western Cape Province of South Africa in 1891, a trip financed by Thomas Larkin of the Japanese Gallery, London. During the trip Brangwyn painted on identically sized panels, stored in a specially constructed case, which enabled the artist to travel when the boards were still wet. The paintings from this period are similar to Secessionist works and show the influence of Japanese art. When Brangwyn returned to Britain many of the works were exhibited in Larkin's Gallery, and these are listed in Vincent Galloway's catalogue of Brangwyn oil paintings, dated 1962. However, many previously unknown oils from the South African period have been discovered in recent years. This particular work may not have been previously catalogued, or alternatively might be Galloway no.594, Native Nurse. The large trees might be oaks for which Stellenbosch was noted (planted by its founder Simon van der Stel) Brangwyn visited the town but the colonnade, white pillars and urns could indicate a country house as could the nurse on the right. With his accustomed energy and honesty Brangwyn has perfectly captured the quality of bright, clear unpolluted light of the country, the claustrophobic heat, the presence of the Cape Coloureds and the vines growing in planters in the foreground.
We are grateful to Dr. Elizabeth Horner for her assistance in cataloguing this lot. The work will be listed in her catalogue raisonne, reference O4965